Hilditch hands another life to Australia’s ‘weak link’ Marcus North

August 6th, 2010 - 4:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Aug 6(ANI): Australian batsman Marcus North is poised to retain his Test spot for the tour of India and the Ashes after receiving strong backing from chief selector Andrew Hilditch, who believes that the left-hander can play a crucial part in the team of the future.

Despite struggling for form, and coming off a disastrous two-Test tour against Pakistan in which he averaged nine, Hilditch said that North is viewed as a ‘long-term’ player in the side.

“All players are under pressure in international cricket to perform at all times. From our perspective, with respect to Marcus, we would really be hoping that he is a long-term player for Australia,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hilditch, as saying.

“He is a very experienced cricketer, we’re going to lose some experience in the next six months to two years, so if he was playing really well and gave us some experience moving forward, that would be an ideal outcome,” he added.

He further admitted that North does need to be consistent with his performance, as it is something that the selectors want from him at the moment.

“The main thing with Marcus seems to be his consistency. In straight numbers he is averaging just under 40 in Test cricket [37.73], and doing a pretty good role for us,” he added.

“The other thing that has got him a role in the side to a certain extent was obviously his bowling option with some off-spin as well. He needs to achieve consistency moving forward, but he’s proved he can play international cricket.”

“We’ve been preparing for this Ashes since we lost them last time, that’s why Marcus has been in the side, he has been part of our longer term planning for this Ashes series coming up,” he added.

North, batting at number six, has been dismissed 12 times in single figures in his last 28 Test innings. (ANI)

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